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Financial Considerations For Unmarried Couples

May 23, 2024

Congratulations! You and your partner decide to become a couple. Marriage might occur sometime in the future or maybe not. You’ll decide at another time. You’re anxious to create a home together.

As a suggestion, having a financial discussion before the move takes place is a good idea. Below are some topics to consider.

The role of money in your life
How do you feel about money?
What role did it play growing up?
How different are your views?
How different are your views?

Do you have similar spending habits or is one careful and the other is not?
How will each of you deal with these differences?
Expenses – who is going to pay for what?
Are there tax consequences to who pays for what?
Will each of you take different bills or will you open a joint account and contribute to it?
If you have uneven income, will you contribute proportionally?

Current assets and debt
Have you discussed your respective financial situations?
Are there student loans?
Does one person have more assets?
Does one person have higher earnings?

Let’s also remember none of us are immune from unfortunate accidents. If your living arrangement requires both incomes, do you have enough disability insurance should one person be unable to collect a paycheck?

If you own property together, is it titled appropriately? A real estate attorney can draw up an agreement between the two of you. Do you have enough property insurance?

Do you need life insurance? Umbrella liability insurance?

If there are children, it is even more important that you develop a Living Together Agreement and Estate Documents. Remember, according to the law, you are strangers. So you need to use contract and estate laws to create what married couples have automatically. Before gay and lesbian couples were able to marry, they had to re-create the over 1,000 laws that applied to married couples but not unmarried couples. It can be done. Perhaps this should be part of your goal setting activity.


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